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Meet the “Silence Breakers”: The Women of the #MeToo Movement

TIME Magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ for 2017 has officially been announced. Taking the lead over the second runner-up, President Donald Trump, who won TIME Magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ for 2016, is “The Silence Breakers – the voices that launched a movement.”

The cover features six women who took part of the #MeToo campaign, a movement against sexual harassment, assault, and rape.

The #MeToo movement initially started almost a decade ago by social activist Tarana Burke and was relaunched by Alyssa Milano, one of the many women to come forward in discussing their sexual harassment occurrences in light of Harvey Weinstein’s accusations.

Alyssa Milano recently tweeted:

Actress Ashley Judd was among the women featured. In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Judd revealed that she was sexually harassed by “one of our industry’s most famous, admired-slash-reviled bosses” in 1997. Judd was among other actress such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, and Natassia Malthe to come forward and reveal their stories of sexual assault by the “famous” director – Harvey Weinstein.

Singer Taylor Swift, also appeared on the cover. Swift has been in the midst of a lawsuit with former DJ David Mueller, who she had accused of sexual assault during a meet-and-greet back in 2013. After the accusation, Mueller was fired and sued Swift. Swift then countersued for $1 Million which she stated, if won, would go towards:

charitable organizations dedicated to protecting women from similar acts of sexual assault and personal disregard.

The issue also features former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, who in February, wrote a blogpost about sexism at the company. Her post led to the pressure for Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick to resign.

Fowler’s essay sparked other women in tech industries to speak about their own sexual harassment. In addition, Fowler’s legal team created an amicus brief in a case going before the Supreme Court. The labor law case discussed the notion that ride-hailing companies’ employees must sign a class-action waiver and in turn, revoke their right to take collective action against their employer. You can read the amicus brief here.

Edward Felsenethal, TIME magazine’s editor-in-chief told NBC’s “Today Program” –

This is the fastest moving social change we’ve seen in decades, and it began with individual acts of courage by hundreds of women — and some men, too — who came forward to tell their own stories.

The issue discusses the campaign:

The women and men who have broken their silence span all races, all income classes, all occupations and virtually all corners of the globe…. They might labor in California fields, or behind the front desk at New York City’s regal Plaza Hotel, or in the European Parliament. They’re part of a movement that has no formal name. But now they have a voice.


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